Views from the World Trade Centre
It was approaching the end of my year in New York and I took another trip up the World Trade Centre.
I remember staring down and across Manhattan, a town, in my mind at least, I’d made my own. Over that year I’d walked the length and breadth of it, mastered the subways and given directions to immigrant taxi drivers. I also knew it was coming to an end, like everything does, and that the Newport I returned to would also be different.
For some unaccountable reason I remembered Rita Murphy and Clare Murray, two incredibly vivacious students at St. Josephs, who drank in the White Hart, amongst other places, and filled the room with a zest for life. I love people. Each stranger is a living, breathing, walking book, only they’re damn hard to catalogue and impossible to shelve, so you end up losing them. Now there was going to be a whole new bunch of people I’d probably never see again:
Lidia Furcik for one: a caustic, rangy girl with a Brooklyn twang that cut glass. I still remember her ‘Aw, Mr K!’ There were so many girls of talent and depth I taught that year, Andrea Woods, Mary Keane, Jean Romano, Jo Ann Halpin….though it must be added - taught badly. Teaching competed with too many distractions, and I burnt candles at both ends, down the sides, and then lit them all over again.
When I look at those pictures of the World Trade Centre now, it forcibly hits me how things pass – especially people. This blog is full of people I will never see again: Shelagh Williams, Mike Barnard, Kim Hasinger, Keith Davies, friends at school, earlier friends who built tree houses and underground dens, along with friends who still resurface from time to time and who I will see: Ken, Geoff, Adrian, Mike Adams, Dick Skinner, Peter Lloyd…unless one of us dies first.
For mankind is ever the same and nothing is lost out of nature, though everything is altered. John Dryden; though I don’t think Dryden was thinking of coffin worms and dust.
A melancholic moment; the World Trade Centre and memories are a lethal combination. And I had no right to be glum! Some weeks before I’d splashed out 1,400 dollars on a circular six week tour of America – New places, new friends…and the Trade Centre would always be there.
My ticket to adventure.